Philips DRLs take honours in 2011 Le Mans Series

The number 61 AF Corse Ferrari, driven by Stephane Lemeret, Piergiuseppe Perazzini and Marco Cioci, which is equipped with Philips DayLight8 LED Daytime Running Lights, has secured the Runners’ Up position in its category for the 2011 Le Mans Series.The six round series of 6 hour and 1000km endurance races concluded in Portugal and the Philips-sponsored Ferrari 430 came within a whisker of actually taking the GTE-AM title for the series. For much of the Estoril race it ran in the lead of the category – which it needed to win to take the championship – before a suspension problem slowed the car. The number 61 machine eventually came home fourth in category but still secured second in the championship in doing so.“Congratulations to Stephane Lemeret and the team. It’s an excellent achievement,” commented UK Country Manager for Philips Automotive Lighting, Ed Savage. “We have been supporting Stephane in his racing this season - in his Belgian Touring Car Championship Renault Megane, as well as in the Ferrari in the Le Mans Series – and we know that the Philips DRLs have often given him a competitive edge. They are as visible as dipped headlights to the cars he is approaching - but are more distinctive, because of their intense and distinct light pattern. Furthermore, the energy efficient LEDs also consume only a fraction of the battery power that headlights use.”The specific demands of the Le Mans Series mean that the Philips DRLs are mounted somewhat differently from how they would be for road use, as can be seen in the picture. The homologation specification for the car requires that they are mounted behind the lower grilles. The series regulations demand that front facing lights on GT Cars are yellow to distinguish them from the white lights of the prototype cars and the team has mounted the DRLs vertically for maximum visual impact.NEW 24V DRLS ALSO USED BY TEAMThe AF Corse Team Trucks are also kitted out with Philips DRLs – in this case the new 24V MasterLife Daylight8 – so Philips is able to bring efficient daytime running lighting capability of all aspects of the factory supported Ferrari Team.“Our partnership with Stéphane Lémeret has already clearly demonstrated the benefits of our LED DRLs in the toughest test of all - on the race track,” continues Ed Savage. “And, of course, from next February the EU Commission has ruled that all new cars must be equipped with daytime lighting systems. Our Philips LED DRLs are Original Equipment with many vehicle manufacturers and we now have a product range that can offer retro-fit LED DRLs for just about any vehicle, passenger or commercial, in the aftermarket. With their success in the motorsport arena, we might well have also opened up a whole new sector where the benefits of Philips LED DRLs can really make a difference.”Stephane’s Lemeret’s Renault Megane now continues its challenge for honours in the 2011 Belgian Touring Car Championship.